Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 madness?
Thinking of participating in an online writing conference? Heres 5 huge reasons theyre useful and fresh.
If youre a freelance author in 2020, going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be among the best opportunities for you in years.
Up until the pandemic hit, writing conferences functioned as a clever location for authors to learn new abilities and network with authors, agents and publishers for practically 100 years.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to participate in an online event without the in-person advantages of conventional writing conferences?
Now what? Some writing conferences have merely disappeared, while others have actually postponed to 2021, since its too dangerous to satisfy personally today.
But theres another section of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and scrapped airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Heres the thing … In order for online writing conferences to prosper, organizers need to find out new ways to make it beneficial for everybody included. And its occurring.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that mixes aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he delights in a great cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his wife and child.
Hes likewise part of the group hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking about participating in an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more affordable
Traditional writing conferences can get quite pricey.
Between travel, accommodations and admission expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person event.
Typically, online composing conferences are going to be far cheaper for organizations to put on. Take away the place costs, catering and professors travel, the expenses of putting on the affair are halved.
Not any more though..
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs great news for authors.
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for writers to arrange appointments with representatives, publishers, and managers.
Well, in 2020, that problem disappears.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased number of representatives, managers, publishers registering to participate in, and that indicates more access and chances for writers.
Were speaking about a few of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real challenge.
The trouble scheduling someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and supervisor needed substantial manpower and a deep monetary outlay.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, publishers and supervisors can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference presence enhances the experience for writers.
That is a tough truth for most organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of income, most likely what keeps them running throughout the year.
If there is a publishing or a representative business that youre targeting, this is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Due to the fact that the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the best representatives are scheduled out weeks in advance, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
On one hand, fewer authors rationally implies less opportunities to network with fellow participants.
More market professionals.
Much better industry specialists.
A lower variety of guests will lead to less competition for networking time with those demanded industry specialists.
In spite of the lower costs and fewer barriers, conference participation will definitely be down in 2020. Some price quotes say that numbers will be halved.
Lower attendance is an advantage to writers. Why?
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
Online writing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
Theyre (for the a lot of part) held in larger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im tired whenever I finish the three-day grind.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long period of time back. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to think the composing world will open for these unique voices.
There are a few obvious reasons for that:.
Conferences are costly, as discussed above.
Individuals with developmental and physical impairments.
Writers from lower-income families.
People experiencing social anxiety.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Company card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I get home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the space in between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we should keep in mind to take a look at the changes prior to us as opportunities.
The scene is a familiar one.
When you satisfy another guest in the virtual chat room, youre both on a computer system. All of your e-mail and social media are right there to create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them delighted.
Then you sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
But we are not residing in ideal times. Vice versa, actually.
It is a Pollyanna concept to think that a virtual authors conference can sufficiently replace the genuine thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
Accept the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
2020 might simply be your big one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
And thats great news for writers.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
What do you believe about online composing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..